Anika’s Birthday Favorites 2013

Tomorrow our girlie turns 10!

She’s been counting down the days since last October already. Her motivation doesn’t seem to be the desire to grow up quickly, but rather just her deep love for a good party!


She had BIG plans for her party this year, but unfortunately, Stressed Out Mommy had to put a stop to some of her ideas. We did do a Tinkerbell party, but there was no Pixie Dust Tree in the front entrance, or flowers and grass covering every available surface in the house.

Once again, Ben saved the day with his Children’s Entertainment skills, and led all our little fairies in some games very fitting to Pixie Hollow, such as bouncing the “dew drop” to the spider web…


The party is over, but we still have lots of things to look forward to, as we continue to celebrate.:)

AnikaPhoto: Morgan Braun

Anika’s writing assignment for school today was to make her annual “Birthday Favorites” list:

Breakfast Foods: pancakes, waffles, sausage, bacon, cinnamon apples, tatertots

Lunch and Supper Foods: fried potatoes, mashed potatoes, fish, beef, peas, steamed broccoli, mushrooms

Snacks and Treats: vanilla cupcakes (made from a Betty Crocker gluten-free mix), Popcorn Twists, any sweets

Things to Do: read, play, dream, spend time with friends, draw

Toys: Lego, Barbies, Play Mobil, Polly Pockets

Books: Mandie books, Watership Down, The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit

Colors: blue and pink

What she wants to be when she grows up: author, artist, actor, photographer

My favorite things about her: There are many, but I’ll list the ones that come to mind first!

– Her wild, fun imagination, her sense of humour, and fun-loving personality

– Her love for stories, adventures, reading, and being read to

– Her love for people and fierce loyalty to the loved ones in her life

– Her laugh, her appreciation for a good joke, her ability to play along with Ben’s silliness

– Her desire to care for people, especially Kaylia, but also any other small child around

– Her love for talking things out, especially at bedtime, her inability to keep anything from me, and her desire to learn and understand all things around her

– Her huge conscience, and intense desire to do what is right

– Her strong leadership skills, and her ability to share her ideas with everyone around her so passionately that they all get drawn into the fun

Oh, the excitement and drama she brings into our home! It is my hope and prayer that God will use all these gifts to bless the people around her in powerful ways. We love her so much, and are so very thankful for each of the wonderful years we have enjoyed with her so far!









34 Days of Favorites

Well, it’s my birthday on Wednesday.

I’ve always loved birthdays. I never used to understand why Ben didn’t. He just hated getting old, and I lived in denial and enjoyed the party.

But this year the number 34 is getting to me a bit. I seem to be racing along towards 40 at an alarming pace.

My thoughts on birthdays generally stays the same, though: I love my life, I love what I’m doing and where I’m at, I wouldn’t want to go back in time, and I love everything these 34 years of living have taught me, so it is just a number that’s bothering me.

And there is no way a number is going to get me down.

We will party on towards 40.


I have written a number of times before about my family’s tradition of recording a person’s favorite things each year on their birthday. I don’t know how many years’ worth of pages I have stating spaghetti and chocolate cake as my favorites.

Well, I’m not eating much spaghetti and chocolate cake these days anymore, and I’m learning as the years go by that change is a wonderful thing.

These birthday lists have helped me to see how each year, I have the opportunity to change my life for the better. I am intentionally making choices to learn and grow, so that on my birthday, I can look back and say, “It was a good year. Look at what I’ve learned. See how I’ve embraced change, conquered old, bad habits, and risen to the occasion.”

Other years, I’ve made posts full of long lists, but one day while I was in the shower, I had a fun idea. (All good ideas come in the shower. Have you ever noticed that?)

My fun idea was to spread it out – one favorite thing a day for 34 days. As soon as I thought it, I regretted it, because I had no idea if I could actually come up with 34 new, wonderful things I’ve experienced in the last year.

Ben said, “No problem! Of course you can do 34!”

So the stubborn side of me turned this into a challenge that must be conquered, and we’ll see how it works out.

Starting Wednesday, in honour of my birthday, I will introduce you to my favorite things right now. (To read my lists from 2010 and 2011, click on the year.)

That’s my challenge.

Your challenge is to try one of my favorite things (so it can become your favorite, too!!), leave a comment, and I’ll enter you in a draw for a prize. I’ll use my birthday money to buy you a gift!:) The more fun things you try, the more your name gets entered, and the better chance you have of receiving the prize.

Oh, fun all around for everyone!

Okay, now I’m off to keep working on my list of favorites…

Never-ending Party

Well, we had yet another party for Kaylia’s second birthday last night. It was the third one!

My mom got all the food ready, but she let me help assemble everything – that’s the best part!¬†She went to town on all the details:

Kaylia went to town on the cupcakes.

And then she thoughtfully tried to clean up after herself.

We had fun! And now I think we’re done. She has successfully been partied into the next year of her little life.

For those of you who have been wanting to see pictures of the birthday party that I put on with my friend Terra-Lee, check out her blog here.

It Was a Happy Birthday

Last night I went to take out the garbage, and I ended up down by the lake. It was such a cool, quiet, beautiful evening – and hit the spot perfectly after a long, fun, loud, crazy, beautiful day.

My friend, Terra-Lee, and I decided to put on a joint birthday party for our girls yesterday, because her little girl turns one year old, two weeks after Kaylia turned two. If we would both put on a separate party for our little birthday girls, we’d end up inviting exactly the same people.

But, if we did a joint party, we could have fun planning and working on it together.

So that’s what we did.

And the kids had a great time, there was far too much food, everyone ate far too much sugar, and it was a success.

Kaylia loved the balloons. It was her favorite part.

The few pictures I took didn’t turn out super well, so the plan is to mooch some off of Terra-Lee! (I’ll let you know how that goes…)

Anika’s Birthday Party

We had Anika’s birthday party here at camp on Friday. She had so much fun, and we were so thankful for friends to celebrate with!

Ben filled his usual role as party entertainer. He’s so great at leading games and keeping the kids entertained!

One of the games was a race – they had to blow a ping pong ball across the room.

And then there were presents!

And now we are finally done the celebrating of the seventh birthday. It’s been fun, but it’s time to move on to other things!

Pool Party

We had a pool party yesterday afternoon! Kaylia wears me out at the beach, and this was something different and special that we could do.

So, we filled up a little pool, splashed a lot, ate some snacks that Grandma had provided, and had fun.

It didn’t magically banish all whining and grumpy moments, but it sure helped, and I’m finding that having a plan and something to look forward to goes a long way…